I’ve been listening to quite a few debates on the radio recently concerning The World Cup and in particular the proposed introduction of goal line technology. I’m all for it as the absence of it has shown the multi-million pound tournament to be a tad farcical as a result. There have been many other debates flying around especially after England‘s exit at the hands of Germany. The whole country has been in a state of disbelief as to how such a bunch of talented players can’t perform on the world stage which has in turn led to a bout of national depression. As a Scot this is something I can fully empathise with. When Scotland have qualified for major tournaments in the past, they have gone there with hope and expectation which ultimately lead to failure and disappointment.
It’s at times such as these that culture can become even more of a trusted friend. Quite simply, a great album, book or film will never let you down. Conversely, a football team, even if you are Brazilian, will. I’m not sure how the millions who watched England being eliminated from the World Cup dealt with the blow of being dumped out the cup to a superior German side but I would imagine plenty alcohol was used as a crutch. This is fine for a short period of time but as Morrissey so presciently put it – “I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour, but heaven knows I’m miserable now”. I have walked home from watching football matches in the past with a hangover kicking in after seeing my team lose. It’s not a lot of fun. Over time I have learned to go straight for a piece of art that keeps on giving. It might be Forever Changes by Love or Marquee Moon by Television. It could be a dvd of All The President’s Men or The Lives Of Others. It may be a battered old copy of L’Etranger by Albert Camus or a relatively new copy of John Niven‘s Kill Your Friends. Point being, these examples and countless others will not let you down at any time but are especially welcome when dealing with sporting disaster. I hope this helps at least some of those who are despondent at their teams premature exit from the World Cup. There is another avenue to go down for comfort and that is nostalgia. Harking back to a time when your team were much better is understandable and it got me thinking about some of the things I miss about the football of yesteryear. Here are three examples –
1. I miss walking to a football ground as a young kid and getting a rush of excitement at the first sight of floodlight pylons in the distance, such as those of the old Hampden Park below.
2. I miss the design classic that was the Adidas Tango football. Still the greatest match ball ever.
3. I miss the fact that there was a time when you could buy replica football tops that weren’t emblazoned with a sponsors name thus maintaining a simplistic yet cool aesthetic.
Image 1 – www.urbanglasgow.co.uk
Image 2 – www.doncastergraphicdesign.com
Image 3 – www.oldfootballshirts.com